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December 4, 2012

Dean Klag Addresses United Nations in Support of Autism Resolution

On November 19, Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, joined Autism Speaks at a special United Nations event focusing on a new global resolution for autism. The event was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh.

deanklagunDean Klag, along with several other thought leaders, offered words of support for the UN resolution which could unite countries in addressing the needs of individuals, families and societies affected by autism spectrum disorders around the world.

Klag spoke about his daughter, Sarah, who was diagnosed with autism 17 years ago. He highlighted advancements in research and treatment, but also pointed out that there is still much work to be done. In particular, he stressed the need to provide services for autistic children entering adulthood.

"We hear a lot about a fiscal cliff," said Klag. "There is a services cliff after age 18. Please take up this banner to help those with autism."

Other speakers included Ambassador A.K. Abdul Momen from Bangladesh, Suzanne and Bob Wright of Autism Speaks, as well as representatives from Panama, Philippines, ECOSOC and the World Health Organization.

The most recent studies show autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect one in 88 U.S children and one in 54 boys. In the United States, more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than diagnosed with diabetes, HIV and cancer combined.

Photo credit: Autism Speaks.

Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or tmparson@jhsph.edu.